Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Pilgrim's Prayer and the Camino de Santiago

Thinking about the next few months - and plans - possibly a pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago.

Hadn't been on Ship of Fools for some time - years even!
And was interested to read that 'Augustine the Aleut', one of the site's most seasoned Mystery Worshippers (too hard to explain! you have to go to the site to understand more) had walked the Camino.
He writes with such ease and concludes his report on on the Cathedral in Santiago with the Pilgrim's Prayer...

"Lord, you called your servant Abraham out of Ur of Chaldea and watched over him in all his wanderings; you guided the Jewish people through the desert: we ask you to watch over your servants here who, for love of your name, make the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Be for us, a companion on the journey, direction at our crossroads, strength in our fatigue, a shelter in danger, resource on our travels, shadow in the heat, light in the dark, consolation in our dejection, and the power of our intention; so that with your guidance, safely and unhurt, we may reach the end of our journey and, strengthened with gratitude and power, secure and happy, may return to our homes, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Apostle James, pray for us. Holy Virgin, pray for us."

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Renaissance spring

Hazy early morning sunshine at the Botanical gardens in Padua - and these tiny spring flowers are VERY Renaissance.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Pastels in Padua

On market stalls, in restaurants - and of course in the amazing frescoes.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Mosaics: the colours at St Mark's

St Mark's, Venice and the mosaics close up.
Here - samples of the colours used.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Terracotta at the Frari

A chilly afternoon despite the sunshine in Venice. At the Frari there are so many shades of terracotta. Famously in theTitian over the altar (the largest altarpiece in Venice). Here in these tulips and freesias too. And, of course, it's the colour of the marble underfoot - and of  the beams that seem to hold the church together.
Remember hearing Fiona Shaw talking about tthe Titian this time last year, just before Easter - The Testament of Mary was about to start at the Barbican.
Curiously then, like this year, I'd just been reading Carole Stone. This year it's The Celibate Season - an epistolary novel she wrote with Blanche Howard.
Very interested to read an article suggesting the origin of  'a celibate season' came from St Paul in a letter to the Corinthians; celibacy offers the chance for reflection and prayer, he says.
The few celibate people that I've known have been very wise - as if being removed from the hurly burly of passion offers the chance for deep thought.
But St Paul does advise against abstaining for long - 'that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency'.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Silk, Veronese and a street market

Wonderful to see Veronese's dazzling ceiling paintings of Saint Esther at San Sebastiano (VEroniese's parish church) in Venice.....the usual stormy skies and swirling rich fabrics.... then this heap of brocades in a nearby street stall....


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Snow on Trafalgar Square

Spring sunshine - at last.
Though inside the National Gallery there are lots of snow scenes at the Inventing Impressionism exhibition. Very exhilarating paintings and not really about winter at all - all that light is more about adventure and promise perhaps.
Fox Hill, Upper Norwood/Camille Pisarro
The Train in the Snow/Claude Monet
Lavacourt under Snow/Claude Monet

The Watering Place at Marly-le-Roi/Albert Sisley

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy